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Harriet Lowenstein Goldstein papers

 Collection
Identifier: P-31

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains materials related to the relief activities of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in Europe in 1919. These include cables and other communications to the American Relief Administration, as well as to Sholom Asch, Jacob Billikopf, Morris Engelman, Max Pine, Lewis Strauss and Baruch Zuckerman.

Dates

  • undated, 1917-1955

Creator

Language of Materials

The collection is in English.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers, except items that may be restricted due to their fragility, or privacy.

Use Restrictions

No permission is required to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection, as long as the usage is scholarly, educational, and non-commercial. For inquiries about other usage, please contact the Director of Collections and Engagement at mmeyers@ajhs.org.

For reference questions, please email: inquiries@cjh.org

Biographical Note

Harriet B. Lowenstein was born on December 7, 1879 (other sources say December 9, 1886) in New York City to Sigmund and Fanny Lowenstein. She graduated from Normal College (now Hunter College) in 1896, received her law degree from St. Lawrence University in 1905, and her certified public accountant's degree in either 1906 or 1907. She was the first woman in New York state to hold degrees as both a lawyer and certified public accountant.

She was one of the founders of the Joint Distribution Committee, served as the JDC's long-time comptroller, and founded the JDC's Transmission Bureau, designing the system through which people in America could transfer funds to their friends and relatives in war-torn Europe without paying a service fee. She also helped to organize and was the comptroller for the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, and was Felix M. Warburg's philanthropic advisor.

In 1919, Lowenstein was named the executive secretary of the JDC. She travelled to London in June 1920 as the head of a staff of accountants in order to establish uniform accounting systems for American Jewish relief activities in Europe and to oversee volunteer efforts and supply distribution. While in London, she met Jonah J. Goldstein, who was also engaged in relief work. They were married in London on July 9, 1920 and then traveled to Paris, where Lowenstein founded the JDC’s Paris office. The couple returned to New York in 1921, where Harriet resumed her work as the comptroller for the Joint Distribution Committee, a position she held until her retirement in 1944. After her retirement, she continued to serve on the JDC's board until her death. Harriet B. Lowenstein Goldstein died on September 30, 1961 in New York City, leaving behind her husband and her daughter, Mrs. Julia Gordon.

Extent

2 Manuscript Boxes

1 Linear Feet

Abstract

This collection contains materials related to the relief activities of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in Europe in 1919. These include cables and other communications to the American Relief Administration, as well as to Sholom Asch, Jacob Billikopf, Morris Engelman, Max Pine, Lewis Strauss and Baruch Zuckerman.

Physical Location

Located in AJHS New York, NY

Acquisition Note

Gift of Judge Jonah Goldstein.

Related Material

The Leo Baeck Institute has a copy of the painting of the Meeting of the Joint Distribution Committee and the Executive Committee of the American Jewish Relief Committee, which occurred in New York in 1918. Harriet Lowenstein appears at the back left-hand side of the table in the picture.

The American Jewish Historical Society holds the Jonah J. Goldstein Papers. In addition, the American Jewish Historical Society, Leo Baeck Institute and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research all hold numerous collections related to the Joint Distribution Committee and other aid organizations.
Title
Guide to the Harriet B. Lowenstein Goldstein (1879-1961) Papers, undated, 1917-1955 P-31
Status
Completed
Author
Finding aid created by marc2ead_ajhs.xsl
Date
© 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • 2016-09-26: PDF box list converted to dsc. Finding aid encoding revised. Biographical Note and Related Materials added. Rachel S. Harrison
  • March, June 2020: EHyman-post-ASpace migration cleanup

Repository Details

Part of the American Jewish Historical Society Repository

Contact:
15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States